Nara Park

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/99450650@N07/9385004622/

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Nara Park (奈良公園, Nara Kōen?) is a public park located in the city of Nara, Japan, at the foot of Mount Wakakusa, established in 1880. Administratively, the park is under the control of Nara Prefecture. The park is one of the “Places of Scenic Beauty” designated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). The over 1,200 wild sika deer (シカ or 鹿 shika) freely roaming around in the park is also under designation of MEXT, classified as a “Natural Monument.” While the official size of the park is about 502 ha, the area including the grounds of Tōdai-ji, Kōfuku-ji and Kasuga Shrine, which are either on the edge or surrounded by Nara Park, is as large as 660 ha.

Jinrikisha (人力車, or ricksha) services can be found near the entrances to popular sites as Tōdai-ji or Kōfuku-ji.

While Nara Park is usually associated with the broad areas of the temples and the park proper, there are now previously private gardens open to public. These gardens make use of the temple buildings as adjunct features of their landscapes.

The park is also home to the Nara National Museum and Todai-ji, where the largest wooden building in the world houses a 50′ tall statue of Buddha.[1]

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© Bradley Cram

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